ICOC Funds Committed:
The company accelerates Personalized Medicine discovery by sourcing, processing and providing biosamples and associated demographic/clinical data to researchers worldwide. Its novel model, through which it recruits patients not only through partnerships with clinics and patient advocacy groups but also through a direct-to-patient, web-based platform, enables it to collect, and ultimately provide patient samples and associated data much more quickly and less costly than current market standards. Building on its existing strength, the company’s goal is to further accelerate the development of new treatments by establishing a premier center (i.e., CIRM Stem Cell Bank) for human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSCs) banking to provide researchers with cells/data they need for disease modeling and drug development. The company’s goal is to become a biobank that accelerates stem cell research through collaborations with local stem cell institutes and companies It has ambitious, yet realistic, growth targets over the course of the next five years. CIRM funding would be leveraged to a) extend the infrastructure to become a premier hiPSC hub that provides hiPSCs to researchers worldwide and b) become self-sustaining by mid-2016.
Statement of Benefit to California:
The company’s overall goal is to develop a collaborative research community that enhances California’s leadership and competitiveness in the field of stem cell research. It already built, and will continue doing so, several partnerships with California-based research institutes as well as companies. The main focus of the hiPSC banking will be to increase the number and quality of human cell lines available for therapeutic R&D activities such as disease modeling and drug discovery. To facilitate and further accelerate stem cell research, the biobank pursues the following plan: i) Deepen and expand relationships with California-based stem cell clusters in San Francisco, San Diego and Los Angeles. ii) Potentially provide stem cell and previously CIRM-funded, newly-formed ventures a) space and equipment and b) potential connections for follow-on funding through its ties to several venture capital firms. iii) Attract skilled workforce available to fill jobs in the private biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry.